Thursday Theology: A Prayer for Today

by Crossings

Co-missioners,

From Canva

On this Fourth of July 2024, when much weighs heavy on every thoughtful American mind and we who pray as a matter of course scarcely know where to start and even less how to pray together, some driven to beg God for this, others to beg God for its opposite, each also obliged to beg God’s forgiveness for the scorn and contempt in which they hold those bewitched others who pray for the wrong thing—

—on this day, in such a season of contention, fear, and mutual loathing among American citizens, let those of us who dare to find our truest identity in Christ, the expeller of evil spirits, defy the spirit of the times and pray as one.

See below for some words to use. They come from a general prayer that some of us grew up with. It later reappeared in 1978’s Lutheran Book of Worship (p. 129). It could well be that the words will strike you on first reading as bland and overly unspecific. If so, read them again through the lens of the Third Petition of that Prayer of Prayers, the one our Savior taught us. “Your will be done on earth as in heaven.” In other words, trust God to fill the words we say with the content He desires. If and when we spot what emerges, let’s expect to be surprised. It could be something very different from whatever we were looking for. Given the history of God’s ways, it probably will be.

When approached from such an angle, this prayer blossoms, we think, into one that all of us can wholeheartedly pray together no matter who we’re planning to vote for this November. “Come, Holy Spirit. Surprise us all. Make it so. Amen.”

Peace and Joy,

The Crossings Community

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A prayer for all of us to offer on this Fourth of July, 2024—

Almighty God—

Upon all the nations of the earth bestow your grace. Especially we ask you to bless our land and all its inhabitants and all who are in authority. Cause your glory to dwell among us and let mercy and truth, justice and peace everywhere prevail.

We ask this through Jesus Christ your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Amen.


Thursday Theology: that the benefits of Christ be put to use
A publication of the Crossings Community

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  • Crossings

    Crossings is a community of welcoming, inquisitive people who want to explore how what we hear at church is useful and beneficial in our daily lives.

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In the early 1970s two seminary professors listened to the plea of some lay Christians. “Can you help us live out our faith in the world of daily work?” they asked. “Can you help us connect Sunday worship with our lives the other six days of the week?”  That is how Crossings was born.

 

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